Iran’s Flight Bans to UK Extended Over British Coronavirus
TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Qassem Jalali said that flight bans to and from the UK have been extended until January 19 in a bid to prevent the spread of the British coronavirus to the country.
Jalali said that the flights suspension has been extended to and from Britain as a preventive measure against the new version of COVID-19 known as British coronavirus.
“Previously, at the request of the health ministry, flights between Iran and the UK had been suspended from December 21, 2020, to January 3, 2021, due to the mutation of the COVID-19 virus in Britain,” he went on to say.
“Upon the coordination made with the health ministry, the suspension of flights between Tehran and London was extended until Jan. 19,” Jalai said, and added, “Many countries have suspended air, land and even rail transport with the UK due to the prevalence of the British coronavirus.”
In relevant remarks last week, Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the mutated coronavirus, recently spread in Britain and other European states, has not been reported in Iran yet.
“I was informed 3 days ago that one of the 3 compatriots who had traveled from Britain to Northeastern Iran has shown some symptoms (of coronavirus),” Namaki said.
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki
“We traced them immediately and isolated them, but I was informed at midnight that the 3 cases have tested negative,” he added.
Elsewhere, Namaki referred to the start of the human trial phase of the Iran-made coronavirus vaccine, but meantime said supply of the vaccine from foreign firms is also on his ministry's agenda.
“In addition to the indigenous vaccine, we are trying to get the vaccine from credited sources and we are purchasing the vaccine,” he said.
Last Wednesday, Namaki had lashed out at the British medical officials for keeping mum on the faster-spreading strain of COVID-19 for at least two months since it first was identified in the UK, although he said the mutated virus has not yet been traced in Iran.
“Unfortunately, Britain was late to make the revelation to the world one and a half to two months after it had identified new cases of the mutated virus,” Namaki told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tehran.
He added that Iran has banned flights to or from Britain, and passengers arriving in Iran from Britain are monitored closely, while European travelers are required to also have a negative PCR card and be tested in Iran, and are recommended to stay in quarantine for two weeks.
“We have a list of people who have entered the country from Britain in the last two weeks and we are monitoring them, and we have not found any trace of the mutated virus in Iran so far,” Namaki said.
A new strain of COVID-19 is sweeping across Southern England and has caused alarm in continental Europe, leading to a flurry of EU countries to issue travel bans on the UK in an effort to stop the mutation from spreading locally.